8 Important Tests for People with Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has a profound impact on an individual’s body. It affects various parts of the body, weakening them and impacting their functioning significantly. Accordingly, people with type 2 diabetes should stay extra careful and conduct some checks regularly to monitor their health and act accordingly. So, here are eight crucial checks those suffering from type 2 diabetes should perform as prescribed by the doctor.
What is Type 2 Diabetes – Overview
Type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone the pancreas produces to regulate the way your body stores and uses glucose. The body receives glucose by digesting carbohydrates in food. The body’s cells use glucose to generate energy. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells, where it can be converted into energy. When the pancreas doesn’t produce adequate insulin, the cells cannot use it to break down glucose properly, thus increasing blood glucose levels.
8 Vital Tests for People with Type 2 Diabetes
Here are eight most vital tests people suffering from type 2 diabetes should perform based on their doctor’s recommendations.
1. HbA1c Test
The HbA1c is the average blood sugar over the past 8-12 weeks. HB stands for hemoglobin in our red blood cells and attracts sugar molecules in the blood. The test helps measure how many sugar molecules are stuck to the hemoglobin. On the other hand, A1c is the average over the past 8-12 weeks because that is how long the average blood cells live in an individual’s body.
2. Lipid Profile
A lipid profile is a blood test that analyzes the total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol), high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol), and triglyceride levels. While high cholesterol levels increase the chances of cardiovascular diseases, high blood sugar levels can cause the liver to produce LDL and reduce HDL. These factors can make you more prone to a stroke or heart attack. Hence, if you have diabetes, you should conduct a lipid profile test at least once annually.
3. Blood Pressure
This one is another crucial test. High blood sugar levels can hurt your arteries and narrow them. It can increase blood pressure. For those suffering from diabetes, it can lead to hypertension. So, you should check your blood pressure whenever you visit your doctor.
4. Kidney Function
Kidneys have a network of tiny and delicate blood vessels in the nephrons that filter waste from the blood. High blood sugar levels in people with diabetes can clog and narrow the blood vessels in and around the kidney. It can reduce blood flow to and from the kidneys and result in excessive elimination of proteins in the urine.
Damaged kidneys cannot work optimally, thus leading to the accumulation of waste in the body. Diabetes is closely associated with kidney problems and renal failures. Hence, performing a kidney test regularly to check kidney functioning can help.
5. Insulin Injection Site
Doctors usually inject insulin under the skin in the abdomen, on the top of the hips or buttocks, in the back of the upper arms, or part of the thighs. They usually rotate these sites to avoid damage. Hence, you should get your injection site checked at least three to four times a year to examine potential or existing damage, if any.
6. Dental Test
Consistently high blood glucose levels can cause gum bleeding, aches, and infection in the mouth. The high amount of glucose in the saliva can result in gum diseases, cavities, tooth decay, dry mouth, etc. Accordingly, it is wise to consult a dentist at least twice a year if you have diabetes.
7. Foot Examination
High blood glucose levels for a long time can damage your nerves and result in diabetic neuropathy that features numbness, tingling, loss of sensation in the limbs, etc. They can also affect the body’s wound-healing ability due to poor circulation. On the other hand, a weakened immune system can make sores or wounds prone to infection. All these factors can lead to gangrene or diabetic foot. A foot examination helps check nerve damage and enables the individual to do what it takes to keep the foot healthy.
8. Eye Test
High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in your eyes and cause complications like leaking blood vessels, retina damage, formation of scar tissues, etc. The blood vessels in the eyes are delicate and prone to damage due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. The latter can block blood flow to the eyes causing cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or partial or complete loss of vision. Hence, it is necessary to get the eyes checked by an ophthalmologist at least once or twice a year.
The above is only an overview of the tests to be conducted while suffering from type 2 diabetes. There’s more to them and for which, you should consult experts. Call us at +91 20 2426 1600 to book an appointment with our diabetologists.